Qatari bank provisions fall 2% in April - cenbank

Central bank's latest data also shows that credit growth in Gulf state almost stalled.
Qatari bank provisions fall 2% in April - cenbank
PROVISIONS FALL: Latest data from the Qatar Central Bank shows that provisions made by banks fell by 2 percent.
By Regan E Doherty
Mon 24 May 2010 07:55 AM

Provisions made by Qatari banks fell 2 percent month-on-month in April, after rising 1.5 percent in the previous month, while credit growth almost stalled, the Gulf country's central bank data has showed.

Some Qatari banks took steep provisions in the past for exposure to debt-ridden Saudi family firms, while the government pumped funds into the sector last year to keep it stable following the global credit crunch.

Total provisions in the world's largest natural gas exporter reached 5.9 billion riyals ($1.62 billion) at the end of April, while bank loans were almost flat at 254.3 billion riyals, following a 0.7 percent increase in March.

Specific loan provisions rose 1.1 percent month-on-month to 2.9 billion riyals at the end of April, after a 4.3 percent jump in the previous month, data showed.

Major Qatari banks reported mixed results in the first quarter, with some still feeling reverberations from the global financial crisis. Commercial Bank of Qatar reported a 36.7 percent fall in quarterly profit, while Doha Bank posted a 4.5 percent net profit drop.

The Qatari government spent about 6.5 percent of the Gulf state's gross domestic product last year on capital injections and other measures to maintain stability in the sector.

Total assets in the OPEC member's banking sector fell 1.6 percent to 479.7 billion riyals in April, the data showed. (Reuters)

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